What does it take to create long-term success in network marketing? Whenever someone asks this legendary question, usually lots of noise results and confused answers are thrown in the air.
Some common answers include, “Be positive,” “Show your enthusiasm,” “Believe in the product,” “Talk to everyone you meet,” “For every hundred nos, there will be some yeses,” and finally the eternal and elusive, “Work harder.”
But what does it really take to succeed in our profession? Here is a shortcut, a simple ten-point list that you might think of as Ten MLM Commandments:
Be a Professional: Sounds pretty obvious, right? But what does being a professional really mean? In any industry, a professional is someone who has spent years studying his future function. A pro is someone who spends hours every week practicing his skills and analyzing the results. You become a pro in network marketing when your learn from others, when in addition to reading books and attending seminars you take notes, read them again and again, and diligently apply what you’ve learned so it can become a permanent part of your behavior.
Adopt the T.I.E. Philosophy: T.I.E. stands for Truth, Ingenuity, Empathy. Always tell the truth, even when it might not seem to be in your favor, even if you see that your prospect doesn’t need or want what you have to offer. Even if you’re this close to winning an incentive you’ve dedicated your life to for the past six months. Develop your ingenuity; think outside the box and use what you’ve been learning. Apply a mix of skills and tools to find the solution to each obstacle. There is always a solution to any problem you might have, especially in network marketing, where you can find tons of ready-to-use formulas. Finally, develop your ability to empathize with others: forget about yourself, your goals, your income, even the promises you made to yourself. When you’re facing a prospect, the only thing that counts is this: What does this person truly want?
Don’t Feed Your Ego-Meter: The more you say or write I, me and my, the less interesting you are to your prospect. The more you refer to yourself, the higher your ego-meter goes—and the lower your results. Let go of everything that might raise your ego-meter.
Skip the Hype: We understand your excitement about your company’s car program, but are you respecting the T.I.E. philosophy when you post on Facebook that your company is giving away free luxury cars? Not likely. Even if this claim is attracting people to you, these are not the kind of business partners you want in your team. Why? Imagine how high their motivation will be when they read the company’s conditions to qualify for the car program or, worse, when they win the car and get a Congratulations! letter from the CEO explaining the details in small print.
Don’t Pitch: Let’s say you meet someone from another company at a training or opportunity presentation. Or you see someone on Facebook or Twitter promoting another MLM product. “Score!” you might think. “Here is someone who is already sold on network marketing. Since my product/opportunity is far better than his, let’s do business together!” Who do you think you might attract into your business that way? The answer is obvious: someone who will leave your business next time someone else pitches him on his deal. Build leaders, don’t try to steal them.
Think Big: Go ahead, be proud of your product and your opportunity. In fact, take it a step further: be proud of the entire network marketing profession. Don’t make fun or speak disparagingly of others who are involved in a different opportunity than yours. Congratulate everyone sharing any progress, promotion, or anything positive about network marketing in general. Chances are good that your opportunity and product are not “the best in the world,” if there is such a thing (which there isn’t, because everyone’s needs and interests are different). Think big and edify our business whenever you can. One day, someone somewhere will do the same for you, and you’ll be forever grateful for their elegant generosity in supporting you that way.
Be Prepared: Picture this situation: you don’t feel well, so you go see a doctor. During your visit you get the unsettling impression the doctor doesn’t really know exactly what to say or do. Would you trust that doctor? Would you let him treat you? Certainly not. It’s the same in our profession: you must know without hesitation what to say and what to do in any situation. Here is a fun idea for a training: organize a workshop with your team and debate how best to handle different prospecting situations or objections.
Let Go of the Jargon: Yes, network marketing is full of BVs, GVs, dynamic compression, and its endless arcane series of pin titles. It can all wait till later, when the person is in. When talking with your prospect, the more you use unfamiliar words and “insider” terms, the more questions you’ll have. The more questions your prospect has, the more she wants to “think about it.” Take an honest look at how you’re presenting your opportunity to your prospect and get rid of every single non-vernacular word. If a twelve-year-old can understand your opportunity, anyone can.
Think Long Term: Don’t focus on instant recognition or gratification. Project yourself ten, twenty, or twenty-five years from now. How do you want people to perceive you? What do you want your team to think of you? You want them to hold you in the highest esteem possible, right? Start building the foundation for this now.
Develop Your Leadership: Never complain about the product, delivery rates, commissions, or qualifications. As Tom Schreiter once told me, “What you think, what you do, and what you say create the results you’re getting.” Take responsibility: you’re the pilot!
JEAN-PHILIPPE HULIN is a Belgian network marketing leader and top earner in his company. He is a generic trainer for the French-speaking market and the bestselling author of La Liberté Financiére en Sept Etapes.